Manx Radio celebrates 50 years of Radio Caroline with a week of simulcasts

From a press release to
Posted 29 October 2014, 6.29am edt

Tim Gale

2014 in Britain is a very different place to Britain in the early 1960’s. Post-war Britain was burdened with austerity, the BBC provided education and information - but the growing young population was looking for excitement, fashion, fun and music.

In 1964, two events happened that were the catalyst for change - heralding a new era in broadcasting that was to have lasting repercussions; helping satisfy a new generation’s demands for relevant popular entertainment – and pop music around the clock!

Exactly 50 years ago the BBC’s monopoly was challenged by:

  • the opening of the UK’s first land based commercial radio station – Manx Radio in the Isle of Man
  • the advent of commercial radio – Radio Caroline based on a ship anchored offshore in international waters to circumvent the law

Shortly after commencing broadcasts Radio Caroline expanded and became a network. It sailed its biggest ship North – broadcasting as it went – and dropped anchor in Ramsey Bay off the Isle of Man in order to beam its powerful signal into Ireland, Scotland and the North of England.

Nobody ever expected it to happen … but 50 years on and Manx Radio has forgiven its cheeky competitor, and neighbour, and invited a unique partnership for one week, in order to look back – “50 years on”

The very special 50 year commemoration programmes will include:

  • Historic event - Manx Radio broadcasting Chris William’s “Carnaby Street” programme from Radio Caroline’s newly restored radio broadcasting ship – the MV “Ross Revenge” on Saturday 15th November
  • Radio Caroline broadcasting via Manx Radio from Monday 17th – Thursday 20th November (special programmes nightly on FM from 6-30-9pm)
  • Overnight relay of Radio Caroline Programmes on Manx Radio AM from midnight – 6am Monday 17th – Thurs 20th Nov
  • The evening programmes, on Manx Radio and rebroadcasted worldwide on-line on Radio Caroline, will include documentary programmes, archive recordings and specially re-created programming featuring 60’s music and nostalgia. Hear the star DJ’s of the period including Tom Lodge, Roger Gale, Mike Ahearn, and Gord Cruise. Even the “Royal Ruler” himself – Tony Prince, will return 50 years on with a special programme for Manx Radio and Radio Caroline listeners!
  • The overnight programmes on Manx Radio and Radio Caroline will showcase Radio Caroline programmes for 2014.

Radio Caroline continues today – broadcasting online and on cable. Volunteers maintain and restore the station’s last remaining offshore broadcasting ship the “Ross Revenge” currently moored in The River Blackwater estuary in Essex. Details at

Manx Radio is the Isle of Man’s national public service broadcaster and Britain’s oldest commercial radio station.


5 years ago

What a great idea.

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